We all know about Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, Jordan Leggatt and Wayne Gallman, but one name that often gets lost in the shuffle on that explosive offense that lead Clemson to three College Football Playoff appearances is left tackle Mitch Hyatt. We take a look at the reasons that you should know Mitch Hyatt and why he has the makings a first round draft pick.
3 Reasons to Know Mitch Hyatt
1. Battle Tested
Not only has Mitch Hyatt started at left tackle since his true freshman season but he’s gone up against some of the best pass rushers in the nation in 2017 including the likes of Bradley Chubb, Harold Landry, Josh Sweat and Nick Bosa but didn’t give up a single sack, only allowing one pressure. And while the ACC pass rushers take a step back he’ll still see the likes of Florida State’s Ben Burns and Boston College’s Zach Allen. All of the experience and production has only shown that Hyatt can hold up against the best competition.
2. Movement Skills
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) August 3, 2017
The number one job of any offensive tackle is to protect the quarterback and to do that you need to be able to have quick feet to deal with the wide variety of pass rushers. Mitch Hyatt shows the lateral burst needed to cut off defenders to the outside, while also being able to move down the line to cut of defensive tackles trying to shoot the B gap. When edge rushers counter Hyatt has the quickness to redirect to mirror the pass rusher staying in front of them. Even when run blocking Hyatt uses his quickness to seal off blockers while also getting to the second level in their zone blocking scheme.
3. Hand Usage
Despite not being a powerful blocker Hyatt uses his hands well to thwart edge defenders. Keeping his hands inside he’s able to steer or ride defenders out of the way to open up creases for the running back. In pass protection his hands are used to keep defenders in front of him as he slides laterally to their movements and if he’s not able to cut them off Hyatt uses his length well to push defenders past the pocket.
Concern about Mitch Hyatt
The one big concern about Hyatt is his balance. While he is able to be in the right position to engage with the defender there is too many times where he has either lunged, been caught leaning or has too high of a bad level. This allows defenders to get leverage and potentially blow past him to the quarterback. So far Hyatt hasn’t been burned by this, but in the NFL he’ll face better skilled competition. If he wants to be considered an elite tackle, he’ll need to shore up this area of his game during his senior season.